The Blue Devils have won two on the road and two at home.
The Tar Heels went 10-18 from the line. A big takeaway from the first half was that Duke and UNC were tied with 14 rebounds which came as a surprise to most.
Jim Sumner will be along presently with his take from Cameron.
The Blue Devils also battled the Tar Heels to a virtual standoff on the board, a fact that can only partially be attributed to Hicks' absence. Still a few minutes left to play in this one.
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Grayson Allen fouled out late in the game but led all scorers with 25 points, while Luke Kennard chipped in with 20 points. After Thursday's loss, they should at least have plenty of motivation to carry them through to the end of the regular season. The eighth-ranked Tar Heels are an outstanding team, a group very capable of getting back to the Final Four again this season. And it feels odd to say that Grayson Allen matters to Duke's success because OF COURSE Grayson Allen matters for Duke's success.
Duke moves to 19-5 with the win, while North Carolina falls to 21-5.
Justin Jackson pumped in 21 points and Joel Berry had 15 points for North Carolina (21-5, 9-3). "I was nervous in the first half, but the second half, I got it all out of the way". By then, freshman Jayson Tatum was past his rookie nerves.
After losing three of four, Duke has won four in a row, a streak that has coincided with the best stretch of Allen's season. Regardless of conference standing or season record, UNC vs. Duke has a history of a hangover (win or lose, coach emphasizes) and a grown team will avoid that but a young one won't.
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Secondly, the Tar Heels sorely missed senior forward Isaiah Hicks, who sat out the game with a strained hamstring. Henry Giles, a candidate to be the first pick in the National Basketball Association draft before injuries slowed him at the outset of the season, played only 10 minutes, but provided energy and scored six points.
It was only Theo Pinson's first game back from an ankle injury, which caused him to miss three games, but it is clear he should be in the starting lineup.
Allen and his teammates have had plenty of experience this season responding to ups and downs, so they should definitely be ready to play Clemson on Saturday at Cameron Indoor. North Carolina (21-4, 9-2 in conference) is now sitting at number 8 in the national NCAA rankings and number one in the ACC, due in large part to the great play of their bigs Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks, along with some increasing contributions from guards Joel Berry and Justin Jackson.
Although simple, Kennard's elation on top of beating his team's rival seemed to reflect the simple understanding that what the Blue Devils had been focusing on most really had clear cut results.
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